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Your service charges explained

Service charges - latest updates

Your service charge final account for 2015/16

The service charge final accounts for 2015/16 have been sent to residents in Kent, Chichester, Gosport (Except the Towers), Minster, Hampshire, Greenwich & Bexley, Surrey and Brighton & Hove during week commencing 12 December 2016.  Residents in other areas should expect to receive their final accounts early in the New Year.  The only exception is the small number of residents who live on a scheme where managing agents provide services. 

Included with your final account is a handy booklet Your Service Charges Explained which includes frequently asked questions.  If you are still unclear about your service charge costs or if you have any queries please contact us and ask for the Service Charge Team or use our online contact form so we can assist.  Please be aware that we do normally receive a high volume on enquiries following the issue of final accounts but we will endeavour to respond to you as quickly as we can.

If you are a homeowner and have received a Demand for Payment, you can contact our Income Team for help with ways to pay. We also have specialist support officers who can help you with benefit issues; and independent financial advisors who can provide advice on budgeting and other financial matters.   

Your Service Charges Explained booklet

Read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about service charges.

  • What is included in my service charge?

    As a landlord, we are obliged to provide you with certain services and repairs, which we then charge on to the residents who received the service.

    The exact services you pay for will be set out in your tenancy agreement or lease, but could include:

    • Employing a caretaker
    • Cleaning communal areas, including cleaning windows and removing dumped rubbish
    • Gardening and grounds maintenance
    • Repairs to communal facilities such as door entry systems, television aerials and lighting
    • Lift maintenance and repairs
    • Providing fire-fighting equipment, including repairing and testing emergency lighting and smoke alarms
    • Providing water, electricity and gas supplies to communal areas
    • Insurance for blocks of flats and houses (usually homeowners)
    • Health and safety such as fire safety, legionella, asbestos and electrical testing in communal areas.
  • When do I receive my service charge bill?
    • A service charge estimate is sent to you at the beginning of the financial year. Your monthly payments are based on this estimate.
    • A service charge statement is sent to you after the end of the financial year which shows the actual costs of the services and repairs provided. This will tell you whether the cost of repairs and services was more or less than the service charge estimate.
  • Why have my service charges increased?

    In some areas, service charges have increased due to increasing legislation and regulation particularly around health and safety. This has been particularly true in blocks of flats where a number of high profile cases have put the spotlight on the safety of residents. New regulations have led to an increase in fighting equipment testing, emergency lighting, electrical and legionella testing, plus other health and safety tests. We are now also under a duty of care to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment on all internal communal areas to minimise the risk of fire and to regularly check asbestos in our properties. As a responsible landlord, we take the safety and security of our residents very seriously and will not compromise.

    As part of our commitment to improve our services, we are currently undertaking a large scale project for new contractors to deliver these services. This will help us to improve our service to you, maintain our estates and communal areas more effectively and deliver better value for money. Find out more about the new cleaning and gardening services contracts.

Find out more about service charges

Our Your Service Charges Explained booklet gives more detailed information about how we calculate your service charges. If you still have a query, please fill in our online service charge enquiry form.

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